Crafting and Delivering Excellence since 1818
Taya Shikkiten, a revered name in the world of Wajima lacquerware, boasts a 200-year history of exquisite artisanship and timeless quality. Situated in Wajima City, near the Sea of Japan in Ishikawa Prefecture, this esteemed establishment has been nurtured through generations, evolving into a hallmark of traditional Wajima lacquerware artistry.
Taya Shikkiten skillfully employs natural wood, natural lacquer, and jinoko, a locally sourced baked diatomaceous earth, to meticulously handcraft creations of extraordinary beauty and reliable functionality. Whether breathing new life into cultural heirlooms or shaping exquisite tableware, the company stands as a steadfast guardian of refined elegance and exceptional quality, showcasing the pinnacle of Wajima lacquerware's craftsmanship.
The History of Taya Shikkiten
A Legacy in Wajima Lacquerware Mastery
In 1818, the founding patriarch Taya Kihei, began working with Wajima lacquerware, setting the stage for generations of the Taya family to continue this esteemed craft. Lacquerware for ceremonial use, temples and traditional eateries were expertly created at the time. Known as nushiya, comprehensive producers of lacquerware, the Taya family was involved in every aspect of Wajima lacquerware production, from conception, to sales reaching beyond the borders of Wajima.
By 1916, the family business evolved into the formal establishment of Taya Shikkiten, and in 1988, under the guidance of the eighth-generation Taya, it became a corporation. This transition marked a new era, extending Wajima lacquerware's reach to individual consumers through department stores. The 1990s saw the ninth-generation Taya Akihiro venture into new realms, developing everyday items, ranging from fountain pens to architectural decor. The tenth generation, Taya Takahiro, plays a pivotal role in introducing Wajima lacquerware to a larger audience, inaugurating an innovative gallery-cum-restaurant in Kanazawa City to further display its charm.
Wajima lacquerware, recognized as an Important Intangible Cultural Property in 1975, represents a significant part of Japan's artisanal heritage. In this esteemed tradition, Taya Shikkiten continues to play a pivotal role, especially in the restoration of Japan's national treasures and cultural heritage. Their expertise was notably showcased in 2019 with the restoration of the floats for the “Karatsu Kunchi” festival. Through their endeavors, Taya Shikkiten demonstrates an unwavering commitment to preserving and nurturing the traditional culture embodied in Wajima lacquerware.
The Artisanal Foundation of Taya Shikkiten
Taya Shikkiten distinguishes itself as one of the few nushiya that oversees the entire process of creating Wajima lacquerware, from initial design to manufacturing and sales. This comprehensive involvement not only showcases their commitment to quality but also enables them to swiftly adapt to changing trends with innovative designs. It's this unique blend of tradition and adaptability that underscores their role in the industry. Central to this success are Taya Shikkiten's key strengths, which lay the foundation for their creative excellence.
In Harmony with Nature
Their use of natural materials like zelkova and Japanese cypress, along with traditional natural lacquer and jinoko, ensures the crafting of high-quality, environmentally responsible lacquerware.
A Time-Honored Process
Items undergo a meticulous, labor-intensive process involving over 100 steps, guaranteeing both durability and an enduring elegance. Including the drying period of the raw wood, the production process of an item can extend over several years.
Collaborating with skilled decorative artisans, Taya Shikkiten adorns select pieces with gold and colored lacquer, using chinkin and maki-e techniques. These pieces merge practicality with refined beauty, enhancing daily life with their artistic appeal.
Through these principles, Taya Shikkiten not only preserves the heritage of Wajima lacquerware but continuously innovates, marrying tradition with modernity.